AZ Preps Player Blog - Joshua Mayes

Arizona is slowly, but surely making their way onto the basketball scene. Even after producing such players as Richard Jefferson, Jerryd Bayless, and Channing Frye, Arizona hasn't been noticed much for having great and competitive high school basketball.

Marcos De Niza HS 5-foot-10 junior guard Joshua Mayes.
Moving from Chicago, IL last summer, I've been able to witness competitive high school basketball. I've watched players in high school such as Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Shannon Brown (LA Lakers), Anthony Davis (Kentucky), and Jereme Richmond (NBA Draft 2011).

But I'm not only a student of the game, but also a basketball player myself. I know how it is to train 7 days a week and 3-4 hours a day, but only those who want to be great go the extra mile.

Over the next few months, I plan to share my experience traveling around the United States playing club basketball with the Arizona Redshirts.

Ijust finished up my junior season at Marcos de Niza High School, and I have started my club season with the Arizona Red Shirts. This past weekend we played in Denver, CO at the Double Pump Spring Tournament.

The most exciting aspect of club basketball is traveling. Being able to go to cities such as Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, and Orlando excites every high school basketball player. When going to these top tournaments, you see the best high school basketball players in the nation, and it makes you want to get better as a player.

As an Arizona basketball player you have to go to different cities to be seen by college coaches, because not many college recruiters come to Arizona to watch high school basketball.

Traveling with a club team gives us an opportunity to play with basketball players from other schools that you usually compete against during the high school season.

Players such as Alec Savage (Desert Mountain), Luke Stivrins (Chaparral), and Lejon Johnson (Fairfax) all fought for the 2011 5A D-II state championship, but a week later had to bring their talent to one team, because they would be traveling to Denver, CO to play other club teams.

Our team quickly bonded together, but there's still a lot to learn about everyone. When you have a group of guys who share the same goal - winning and competing for a college scholarship, you have a good team. Club basketball is a way to show college recruiters what a player or group of players could do.

The excessive amount of games played in a weekend could be stressful, but overall it's a great experience.

This weekend our team played with a purpose. Our coach prepared us well for battle by making sure we had the appropriate amount of sleep, making sure we were hydrated, and making sure we were keeping a good diet for the weekend. We played with great intensity and defense as a team all weekend.

Our intensity led us to the championship game, but we didn't overcome and win the game. Our shortcoming has made us more persistent to win the next tournament in Anaheim, CA during the Easter Holiday Weekend.

Congratulations to the Arizona Magic and Arizona Redshirts for representing Arizona in Denver.

If you have questions, be sure to email me at